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East Coast vs. West Coast | United States

No, this is not an article about the latest hip-hop trends in the USA. No gangsta talk or fat limos. We prefer to brag & boast about the coolest must sees & do's that can be found along the two famous coastlines of the US: the impressive east coast or just the whimsical west coast.

And, not entirely unimportant: we drove both the east coast and west coast of America from top to bottom during our one-year tour of America. So we definitely speak from our own experience! These are our East Coast vs. West Coast experiences, two completely different but both great coastlines. Which coastline do you prefer? We really can't choose!


Our advice for camper rental in America
Camper trips through America (USA) from Travelhome

Are you thinking of following our footsteps and renting a camper(van) with friends, your partner or with your whole family? Then ask free of charge and without obligation submit a quote to Travelhome from ANWB. They have both campervans and full-fledged family campers on offer.

Pros:
  • Large selection, low prices
  • Independent or Customized
  • Expert advice from specialists
  • Full quote with no hidden costs
Request a free quote
By using our affiliate links you support us at no extra cost. Thank you!


The ultimate tour of North America

This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.

The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl
The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl

We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.


East coast

De east coast of America effortlessly shakes a few pearls out of her sleeve. Two of the most important American cities have their feet firmly planted in the eastern ground: Washington D.C. en New York City. Some other important cities are Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and for a boost of cultural experiences, forget about European-influenced gems Annapolis, Amelia City, Savannah en Key West not to visit.

Amelia City | The Wereldreizigers.nl camper left and right Malou on the bench enjoying the sunrise.
Amelia City | The Wereldreizigers.nl camper left and right Malou on the bench enjoying the sunrise.

Tired of the cities? The east coast is also home to one of the largest space stations in the world. You can watch a live rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center, a bizarre one bucketlist.worthy experience that we will never forget. You are also on the right side of the US for hilarious rollercoaster and theme parks, Orlando is the Mecca for theme park enthusiasts. Finally, the nature here is stunning and very diverse. For example, how about the beautiful beaches in Florida and wildlife Everglades National Park? Enough pros, little to no cons!

Also read: Worldly | The history of space travel in 7 must-see places

New York

The East Coast's biggest seducer is natural New York City. This city is reason enough for a trip to the US. The 'always-happening-here-atmosphere', the towering skyscrapers that brotherly watch over Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and so on. Manhattan is the center of the world for many. Walk through Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue and Central Park and you will immediately understand why everyone is so lyrical about this metropolis.

Also read: Complete New York City Travel Guide | Must sees, travel tips and budget

New York City | Top of the Rock | Manhattan during sunset
New York City | Top of the Rock | Manhattan during sunset

Washington D.C.

The political capital of the USA is also on the east coast and is a very special place to visit. It will give you a special feeling when you stand right in front of the White House, the beating political heart of our planet. Washington is where the decisions are made that can sometimes have major consequences for the entire world world.

Washington DC and Japanese cherry blossoms
Washington DC and Japanese cherry blossoms

During a tour of the city, the historic images of Martin Luther King, speaking at the Lincoln Memorial, automatically pass by. The various monuments and state buildings also give you a historical sense of what this country has meant for Western freedom: Malcolm X Park, Supreme Court, the Capitol, the pentagonal Pentagon and Washington Monument are a few world-famous examples.

Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial
Travel Guide Washington DC | Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial nicely visible between the blossom
Malou in front of the Capitol in Washington DC
Malou in front of the Capitol in Washington DC

Also read: Washington DC Travel Guide | The American capital

Orlando, Florida Theme Parks

For some travelers, a visit to a theme park is the immeasurable highlight of their vacation. Believe me, then you're on the east coast - and especially in Orlando, which is located in the southeast - all right. Several huge theme parks can be found here. The most famous is undoubtedly Disney World. Here you can go wild on kick-ass rollercoasters and meet all the legendary Disney characters.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida
Universal Studios Orlando Florida

But there is more to Orlando! How about Universal Studios, an amusement park and movie studio in one! Live stunt work, 3D shows and spectacular special effects make a visit an unforgettable experience. You can also visit Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, a new park with five themed islands.

Kennedy Space Center

The John F Kennedy Space Center (often abbreviated to KSC) is NASA's launch site and space complex at Cape Canaveral in Florida† In the past, from this launch site, the Apolloflights prepared. Also here were the space shuttles launched.

The complex is approximately 55 by 10 kilometers in size. This means that the complex has an area of ​​no less than 56.600 hectares. For comparison: this is approximately the surface of the Dutch province of Flevoland!

Kennedy Space Center | The Wereldreizigers.nl 4×4 camper and the SLS space rocket | Cape Canaveral
Kennedy Space Center | The Wereldreizigers.nl 4×4 camper and the SLS space rocket | Cape Canaveral

Buy tickets for entry and experience a launch up close. It will not be a bucket list wish for everyone, but seeing and experiencing this with your own eyes is truly fantastic. It will be a day to never forget.

Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral | See a rocket launch live
Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral | See a rocket launch live

The park is also definitely worth a visit without any launch. The shows are great! You learn a lot about space travel in one day and it is even fun for people who actually know nothing about it. That interest grows automatically when you roll from one surprise to the next and come face to face with possibly the greatest achievement of man.

Breathtaking nature

Along the east coast are beautiful nature reserves with rugged mountains, cool blue lakes and colorful forests that stretch to the horizon. In the state of North Carolina you will find beautiful forests and rugged mountains (Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains), while in Virginia the cotton plantations form the backdrop. In the state of New York lie the deep lakes of the Finger Lakes, in Florida the swampy swamps of the Everglades and of course the wonderful beaches at Keys and Miami.

South Pointe Park & ​​Beach | Miami
South Pointe Park & ​​Beach | Miami

Also read: Miami Beach Travel Guide | What to do, must sees and travel tips!

Everglades National Park | An Alligator emerges from the water
Everglades National Park | An Alligator emerges from the water

In the northeast, near the border with Canada, you will find the Niagara Falls. These waterfalls roar at you from miles away. The states of New England to West Virginia offer you a variety of fall colors, the color splendor that the Indian Summer is so famous for. Moreover, in New England you will find the wild Green Mountains, which are part of the Appalachians.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

West Coast

The Wild Wild West is definitely not a copy of the East Coast, far from it! Here, on the western side of the USA bobbing against the Pacific (or Pacific) Ocean, are California's sunny beaches, deserted deserts and thriving national parks. The coastline borders three states: Oregon, Washington (not to be confused with the city of Washington DC), and California. The western US is known for its progressive mindset, which has earned it the nickname Left Coast.

West Coast America | Fog banks at Ecola State Park, Oregon
West Coast America | Fog banks at Ecola State Park, Oregon

Also read: Roadtrip USA: The Wild West of Wyoming (1)
Also read: Roadtrip USA: The Wild West of Wyoming (2)

San Francisco

You can't complete a West Coast trip without spending a few days in the most European city in the US: San Francisco. This city is a revelation among all the other large and often somewhat chilly cities in the US. San Fran is a city built on many hills, which immediately gives the metropolis its unique face. Of course, the Golden Gate Bridge is just about the most important landmark.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco
Golden Gate BridgeSan Francisco
Downtown San Francisco
Downtown San Francisco

The historic prison island of Alcatraz also deserves a short visit. Chinatown is a city in its own right here, with delicious cheap food displayed at garish stalls and bustling little streets. Other must-sees: Fisherman's Wharf (Pier 39), Alamo Square, Palace of Fine Arts and Golden Gate Park.

Los Angeles

If you follow the route further south, you will pass the metropolis of Los Angeles, or LA for short. A city of extremes and contrasts. The glitz & glamor of Hollywood and Beverly Hills shines lavishly, especially compared to the poor and mainly black neighborhoods of Los Angeles. On Rodeo Drive, the cosmetically-renovated celebrities drive past you in the fattest cars, from Lamborghinis to Bentleys.

Los Angeles | Expensive cars on Rodeo Drive, LA's most expensive street
Los Angeles | Expensive cars on Rodeo Drive, LA's most expensive street
Beverly Hills Park | Los Angeles
Beverly Hills Park | Los Angeles

Yet LA is a city with many attractions and wonderful places. The Santa Monica beaches with the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach are known for their notable beachgoers. You will undoubtedly look your eyes out. Bustling boulevards with sports enthusiasts, alternatives, creatives and the contemporary jet set, all mixed together.

But there's more to Los Angeles than just the beach. Our recommendations: Pasadena, Getty Museum, Crystal Cathedral, Melrose Avenue and Huntington Library. Of course, a short walk on the Walk Of Fame is a no-brainer!

Beaches Los Angeles | West Coast USA
Beaches Los Angeles | West Coast USA

Highway 1, 17 Mile Drive and Route 66

The coastline in the western US has some great car and RV routes. This way you can determine your own speed of travel and you can see all the splendor of this side of the US in real time. Highway 1 is an excellent route that takes you from San Francisco all the way to Los Angeles in the state of California. Don't expect a highway that you can race over, but narrow, winding roads that take you along cliffs, over panoramic hills and along stretched and deserted parts of the west coast. A lust for the eye!

Sunset in Oregon, Route 101 | West Coast America
Sunset in Oregon, Route 101 | West Coast America

Another magical route is 17 Mile Drive, a scenic drive across California's Monterey Peninsula. The views along the route are stunning. Rough coastlines, rock formations and desolate beaches alternate effortlessly. The most famous car route is of course Route 66† In the west you can pick up this route from Santa Monica to end up in gambling city Las Vegas.

Also read: Route 66 | The ultimate roadtrip through America!

The winding Highway 1 / Route 101 | West Coast America
The winding Highway 1 / Route 101 | West Coast America

Nature on the West Coast

Well, we say that the nature reserves on the east coast are so beautiful, they can also do something on the west coast! In California alone, the different landscapes are to die for. Golden beaches, the huge mountains of Sierra Nevada, the quintessential California trees (The Redwoods and Sequoias), Death Valley, the Canyons, Yosemite National Park, and we're only talking about Cali.

The World Travelers camper between 100 meter high Redwoods | West Coast America
The World Travelers camper between 100 meter high Redwoods | West Coast America

Oregon may be more unknown but no less beautiful. Here the Columbia River is the lifeblood that has so much to offer. Rafting, hiking over the steep cliffs, stopping in lovely coastal villages along the way. The coastline here is sometimes inhospitable, but that makes it all the more beautiful. I slept here on perhaps the most beautiful (wild) camping spot of my life and I also saw more stars here than anywhere else in the world.

Wild camping spot in Oregon | West Coast America
Wild camping spot in Oregon | West Coast America
Starry Sky in Oregon | Western America
Starry Sky in Oregon | Western America

The state of Washington is an area with special national parks such as Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Park. Here you will soon find yourself between waterfalls, glaciers, volcanic rock and rugged mountains. Also is Seattle absolutely worth to visit.

Also read: All National Parks in the United States of America | List

Conclusion

Well. east coast vs. West Coast. Like hip-hop, I think it's a matter of taste. West America show you more of the ancient American culture that traces its roots to the Native Americans. East America is more modern and perhaps a bit more business-like, with of course New York as an irresistible traveler magnet. In terms of nature and unspoiled landscapes, the west coast has an advantage, while the east coast has more (cosy) influences from Europe.

If you only want to visit one of the two coastlines of America, you will have to think very carefully in advance!


Our advice for camper rental in America
Camper trips through America (USA) from Travelhome

Are you thinking of following our footsteps and renting a camper(van) with friends, your partner or with your whole family? Then ask free of charge and without obligation submit a quote to Travelhome from ANWB. They have both campervans and full-fledged family campers on offer.

Pros:
  • Large selection, low prices
  • Independent or Customized
  • Expert advice from specialists
  • Full quote with no hidden costs
Request a free quote
By using our affiliate links you support us at no extra cost. Thank you!


Plan your vacation to America here

  • Camper rental You can book this in combination with a tour Travelhome.
  • E-Sims You can make additional adjustments with 1 GB for free Air it.
  • Flight tickets for America you book with TUI en KLM.
  • Rental cars : Sunnycars en rental cars.
  • Tours and Activities in America you book via GetYourGuide.
  • Campsites in National Parks you book on recreation.gov.
  • Hotels & Resorts in America you can book with a discount Booking.com.
  • Parking at the airport you can arrange via Parkos
  • travel items (suitcases, bags, world plugs, etc. can be ordered at Bol.com.


The ultimate tour of North America

This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.

The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl
The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl

We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.


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Chris Thomassen

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!
- Full-time blogging world traveler.
- Writes about travel, photography, sustainability and gadgets.
- Likes to discover extreme and unknown places.

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